Tag Archives: movement-building

The People’s Assembly Line – #Manchester fails to be revolutionary yet again

History lesson: In the mid-1920s Henry Ford had the car market sewn up. His Model Ts were everywhere. Thanks to automation and his clever anti-union action, the sale price was dropping year on year. Model T’s were also very reliable, … Continue reading

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Climate change? We need the *opposite* of the French Resistance

Not the opposite of courage. Not the opposite of hope for a better world.  Not the opposite of practical solidarity with those suffering under brutal regimes. The opposite of what then? One opposite thing – the compulsion to act in … Continue reading

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Crucial distinction: Participate versus Attend #socialmovements

A well-designed event allows people to participate without attending (by collecting their opinions beforehand, by phoning them during) A poorly-designed event* allows people to attend without participating (by creating sage-on-the-stage models, of the Great Speaker and rows upon rows of … Continue reading

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Billiard balls and synapses, ice-breakers and… burritos?!!

[Update: Viv McWaters and "shifters," from March 2011...] When I tried to suggest that meetings didn’t need to be sage-on-the-stage leninist atrocities, I was told that icebreakers are “naff” and “corporate.” Mr Defensive and Dismissive (DaD) has a point. “Ice-breakers” … Continue reading

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“getting in the way of politics” #leninists #epic-fail #unintentionallyhilarious #smugosphere

Politics, it seems, is what happens when a bunch of people sit at the front of a room talking at a passive audience, allowing them to ask questions of one or more of the speakers.  If you challenge that, you … Continue reading

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Movement-building gimmick: “the skills in the room go round and round…”

So, in my unpaid consultant (cough cough) role today, I was ad-libbing about how you could make everyone in the room – from hardened activist to starry-eyed “newbie” (terrible phrase that it is) – see that their contribution is both … Continue reading

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Repost from the Grauniad: “9 inspiring lessons the suffragettes can teach…”

Good piece by Kira Cochrane… http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/29/nine-lessons-suffragettes-feminists

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Of Holy Roman Empires and #Manchester People’s Assemblies. Change? Plus ca change…

I may be suffering from premature exasperation, it’s true. But last Tuesday night’s little (alright, large) smugathon perturbed me mightily. The organisers had got Mark Steel (yesterday’s darling) and Owen “Chavs” Jones (today’s darling) along. This on its own was … Continue reading

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Bureaucrats, politicians and (r)emote control

There is overlap, but as a rule of thumb; Bureaucrats/bureaucracies try to shut you down/up intellectually. They withhold information, give you too much of the stuff at the wrong time, or too much with not enough time to process it. … Continue reading

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Spring-ing into action? Yeah, good luck with that.

Finally, I am learning (I think). I am not, (wife-be-happy) going to dance to the Masochism Tango. There was a time I might have enthusiastically attended this, in Manchester on Saturday May 11th. No more. Why? Well, here’s the comment … Continue reading

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